GUNS Magazine Ruger’s .22 Single Action

The Single Six

In 1953 Ruger released their second .22 handgun, a sixgun this time. He had taken a good look at the Colt SAA and realized that shooters didn’t just want a single action, they would also go for an inexpensive action to shoot. The .22 Single-Six arrived looking very much like a Colt, however, it was scaled down slightly. Wisely, even though he made the Single-Six smaller than the Colt SAA, it retained the same grip frame size and shape found on the original Colt. Over the years, this grip frame has proven to be the best fit for most shooters. The icing on the cake was the use of coil springs to replace the flat springs used in the Colt – making the new Ruger .22 virtually indestructible.

In 1956, fresh out of high school and off to work, I bought my first sixgun. And just like most young shooters then (and quite often now), I opted for a Single-Six. It had a 5-1/2″ barrel, fixed sights (except the rear sight was windage adjustable), and a flat loading door. There’s no way to overstate the pride of ownership this 17-year-old had in that first Ruger.

Now, over 60 years later, I still have my original Single-Six and added more. A few years after manufacturing began, Ruger replaced the flat door with a sleek cargo door. Other barrel lengths have been added including 4-5/8″, 6-1/2″ and 9-1/2″.
In 1960 Ruger began offering the .22 Single-Six convertible model. Now the sixgun was tuned for dual purpose with the addition of a second cylinder chambered in .22 Magnum. By adding an auxiliary magnum cylinder, we now essentially had .22 rifle ballistics in a revolver.

Quite often I see posts on the internet from shooters complaining that the .22 Long Rifle cylinder or the .22 Magnum cylinder will not shoot accurately. I’ve been shooting Ruger .22/.22 Magnum Single-Sixes for nearly 60 years and have yet to find one with either cylinder that wouldn’t shoot accurately.

Just like with any .22 sixgun, pistol, or rimfire rifle, it takes some effort to find the right load. It’s not that easy in today’s market with .22 being so hard to come by, however, I always thought it could take up to 10 different LR loads and at least five different magnum loads in a particular gun before we can say whether it’s accurate or not. I have been following this method for a long time and have always found the right load for the gun

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